BOSTON— At a ceremony last night at the Harvard Club of New York, The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation presented a Pro Bono Award to Harvard Business School (HBS) alumni club community consulting programs for their commitment to providing volunteer business consulting services to leading nonprofits in various regions throughout the United States. The Council, created by President Bush in 2003, recognizes the exceptional contributions volunteers are making to our nation
HBS alumni nationwide contribute more than $4 million in pro bono services each year through a network of club-based programs. The longest-running effort, HBS Community Partners, a program of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Northern California, has engaged more than 500 HBS graduates and served more than 250 nonprofit organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since its founding in 1986.
"Community Partners is an outstanding model for leveraging corporate skills to make a meaningful social investment in communities around the world," said Jean Case, chair of the President's Council. "This HBS alumni program has set the gold standard for pro bono service in the corporate sector."
"It is an honor to be recognized by the President's Council," said Northern California Community Partners' Executive Director, Kathy Salmanowitz (MBA '78), who accepted the award on behalf of HBS community consulting programs nationwide. "The award recognizes, supports, and encourages the work HBS graduates have done over the years to help strengthen their communities by applying their business and management skills to the challenging strategic issues faced by nonprofits in their area."
For more than two decades, Community Partners has offered pro bono assistance in strategic planning, financial management, organizational development, and board governance to nonprofit organizations across diverse sectors. Many of the more than 80 alumni clubs around the world also offer scholarships to HBS executive education programs in nonprofit management and leadership.
Through the HBS community consulting programs, alumni have helped local nonprofits overcome numerous challenges, including:
- Strengthening and helping the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) fulfill its mission of cleaning up the New York City waterfront and making it more accessible to the public. As a result of the HBS graduates' recommendation that the program be spun off as an independent nonprofit organization, MWA built a strong identity, recruited a dedicated and active board, and raised significantly more capital for its activities.
- Creating a business plan with a supporting financial model for Goodwill Industries of San Francisco to pilot a new line of business that would generate increased revenue as well as new jobs for Goodwill clients.
- Developing an assessment and evaluation model for increasing participation in educational programs of the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.
"Active engagement with the social sector is an integral part of the personal and professional lives of many HBS graduates," said Laura Moon, Director of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. "The community consulting programs are a shining example of the innovation, rigor, and entrepreneurial spirit alumni are able to contribute as they personify the School's mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world."
The School's Social Enterprise Initiative-through an integrated approach to social enterprise-related teaching, research, and activities at HBS-aims to inspire, educate, and support current and emerging leaders in all sectors to apply management skills to create social value.
The award ceremony was part of the Pro Bono Summit, a gathering of CEOs and other senior executives with a vision for expanding corporate volunteerism in the community. Other award winners were the Advertising Council, General Electric, McKinsey & Company, The Monitor Group, Pentagram Design, and Time Warner, Inc.